U.S. Olympic Trials: Brendan Hansen On Fire During 100 Breast Prelims -- June 29, 2008

By John Lohn

OMAHA, Nebraska, June 29. FOUR years ago, Brendan Hansen walked into Long Beach for the Olympic Trials with a chip on his shoulder. Looking to avenge a pair of third-place finishes at the 2000 Trials in Indianapolis, Hansen had something to prove. The result was a pair of world records in the 100 and 200 breaststrokes.

This time around, Hansen is expected to make the team and again challenge for gold in Beijing. After one swim, everything is looking good. The only American ever to break a minute, Hansen dipped under the 60-second barrier again, going 59.84. Really, it's become commonplace for Hansen to go 59-point.

The possibility exists that Hansen could become history's first 58-second man this week. The former University of Texas star, who won eight individual NCAA titles as a Longhorn, has the speed and power to make it happen. He's also intent on sending a message to the rest of the world, particularly with Japan's Kosuke Kitajima recently taking down Hansen's 200 breast world mark.

Mark Gangloff, well established as the second-best American breaststroker, took the first step toward repeating his Olympic berth from 2004. Gangloff stopped the clock in 1:00.10 and is on the cusp of joining the 59-second club. If he makes the team and has visions of a medal in Beijing, Gangloff will have to go 59-mid.

The next group of qualifiers was led by Eric Shanteau. Better known for his ability in the 200 breast, he went a personal-best time of 1:00.91 and was followed by Scott Usher in 1:00.97 and Scott Spann in 1:00.98. John Criste touched in 1:01.31 and Giordan Pogioli (1:01.40) and Jon Roberts (1:01.44) also went under 1:01.50.

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Reaction Time Comments

June 29, 2008 Dear John Lohn,
So far, there has been some great swimming! Thank you for your coverage and recaps. With all due respect I understand how easy it is to anticipate how fast a swimmer may go after seeing such an easy, yet fast effort in prelims. However, it is my opinion that predicting a specific time or time barrier is an injustice to the reporting efforts of Many variables still remain to be played out before each swimmer earns their final performance for the trials. It is unfair for the swimmer predicted to swim a 4:05, when the 4:06 they swim tonight is genuinely phenomenal for that individual. The public's expectation of a fast time should not be specifically any faster than what that swimmer's true peak performance ends up being. Thank you for your time and efforts. Bryan
Submitted by: sparkycrane
June 29, 2008 I disagree, half the fun is guessing how they'll do. Swimmers like Phelps dream big and encourage us to do so as well, both for them and ourselves. And I doubt Phelps is rushing back here between prelims and finals to see what we think, anyway, so you don't have to worry that he'll feel he's treated unfairly. As for that specific prediction, I think it could go either way, Phelps wasn't happy with his time this a.m.,pointed out it was slower than Worlds last year, on the other hand, the LZRs probably bring the time down 2-4 seconds from what might be predicted prior to their introduction. I don't think 4:05 is out of the question if everything else falls into place. Phelpes and Lochte gotta pace themselves for the rest of the week, but they may also want to start out with a bang. So who knows??
Submitted by: liquidassets
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